Busy Boating times in Trinidad
Busy boating times in Trinidad........just so you don’t think we just lay about around the pool enjoying ourselves all day, every day!! To be honest we never lay about around the pool but do enjoy our time in it.
Well, we’ve had lots to do over the past month as we get ready to return to the UK.
First of all we’ve got Sean (Superb Canvas) doing some canvas and upholstery work – the cockpit canopy has been returned looking fantastic, and now Susan is all excited about the cockpit cushions and saloon cushions being ready in the next week or so. It will be good to have the seating back again as the most comfortable places at the moment are our bunks or the chart table seat.
The problem we were having with the Raymarine wind instrument turned out to be corrosion at the mast head so we needed a new cable and sensor unit installed – after being in place for only 2 years we are a bit disappointed, but at least we now have a working unit. The SSB problem turned out to be a tuner unit problem and, given the age of the unit, spare parts are difficult and expensive to source, so we’ve gone instead for a new tuner unit which has just arrived in Chaguaramas The radio itself was given a big thumbs up, very powerful apparently. The SSB will be very useful on the return trip to Europe next year.
Colin, on Pelerin. joined us in Crews Inn. He had a delivery crew bring Pelerin up from Brazil as he and his wife were unwell. Colin was faced with moving the boat down to Peakes, with a dodgy engine and on his own. However the cruiser community came to help with Susan and Andrew as line handlers and Tully, Wade and Diane(Joanna) and Nick and Greg from Peakes, acting as boat guides should the engine fail. It needed two people to start the engine and if it failed crossing the busy anchorage, there could have been major problems. However, all went well and Pelerin is now on the hard down in Peakes.
Susan has had some new swim suits and bikinis made by Debbie, after last year’s proved a success, and she is very pleased with the orange theme, as most of you can imagine! She’s now having a couple of dresses made whilst she is busy making things for our grandchildren as well as helping Sue from Piano with a few boaty creations (Susan said the mental challenge of working out how to make the wind scoop- like a giant dorade- as well as a new cover for the rescue ring and bag for it was really good for her brain). Meanwhile she continues to noodle in the morning and line dance in the afternoon, all for fitness, enjoyment and the challenge of keeping up with our energetic grandchildren. Andrew in the meantime swims up and down the pool and uses the running machine, there is no contest in guessing who is having the most fun here.
Falco has once again done his magic on the engine and we have tracked down the oil leak (new banjo unit) and the fuel leak. In doing so we found a problem with the drip-less stern seal (it was dripping), and a small weep from the through-hull that carries the engine cooling water! Both are now under control, but the through-hull will need to be re-sealed when we haul out later on. In addition Falco recommended that we get the diesel fuel tank cleaned as he could see algae etc. in the primary fuel filter, so that was organised as well. This took several hours but we hope the exercise will be beneficial in the long run – the last thing we need is a blocked fuel pipe in the middle of moving through an anchorage! There was quite a bit of algae in the tank which is natural, but in quantities not very good. Even using the bio diesel treatments regularly isn’t always enough, so for now, we have clean diesel and a pretty clean tank and the engine when it was started seemed to be much quieter. Check out the before and after pictures, the cleaned fuel is the golden syrup colour.
Getting all the work done, going on shopping trips and other necessities hasn’t left a huge amount of time for the social side of things but we’ve had a few evenings out at the WheelHouse Pub (Swordfish steaks – very fresh, massive, with the swordfish delivered by forklift while you wait – and having made the mistake of one week having a steak each, last week we decided to share a meal, so what did they do? They insisted on filling one plate with more of the side dishes and then gave us two steaks not far off the size of the single plates – another reason for a bit more excercise I think). We did however have very enjoyable evenings with cruisers from Receta, Badgers Sett, Allegro, Joana and Piano and managed to catch up with Dave, Sarah, Bryn and Bethany from Cape, who we last saw in Saint Maarten as well. We’ve had a few potluck barbecues here in Crews Inn, although Thursday seems to be a day when other events are routinely scheduled for some reason and a few great meals aboard other boats. Naturally, when Sunday arrives its Domino’s day, and there has been a good turnout over the last few weeks with both Andrew and Susan winning the game overall and being given the ‘Domino’ flag to fly for over the following week. Susan continues as Net Controller on Saturdays and stands in for Jesse James (Members Only Taxi and Tour Services and OCC Port Officer who is also a Net Controller!) if he can’t get to his office in time. Andrew, “the weatherman”, provides a weather report 3 days a week, which seems appreciated judging by the feedback we’ve both had. Susan has also had a couple of “material” trips to Port of Spain so knows the fabric shops inside out!
Thanks for all the messages of well wishes for Andrew’s birthday. He was hoping to keep it quiet but someone leaked it to someone who then broadcast it over the Net, ho hum. He had a nice day though and was treated to a “surf and turf” (lobster tail and steak) at the nearby restaurant.
Recent arrivals down here that we’ve caught up with include “Piano”, “Cape”, “Tusan Tak II”, “Quicksilver”, “Persephone”, “Abraxas”, Moloko, Artic Tern and “Just Imagine”. We are maintaining a list of boat names that we really like which we will write up sometime soon – think of “Drinks Trolley”, or “Ruphus T Firefly” – brilliant!! Judy and Fred from Wings have now made it to Columbia via Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba, where they are having a wonderful time.
We’ve certainly been appreciative of some of the services today’s Internet provides, not withstanding certain countries desires to see everything everyone does over the net, Skype has been great as we’ve been privileged to be able to see new grandson Oliver James, who is, to quote his mother,“growing like a weed”, new grand-daughter Amayah, bright eyed and bushy tailed so to speak, and Shayla, who are both doing wonderfully well. In addition we have spoken to Isaac (with eye patch) and Alice with new hair cut – absolutely fantastic. We have been able to see Phil and Ruth’s new home, albeit jerkily, and we are so pleased for them, Ruth’s cast on her arm (purple naturally), the cast is now off and to Ruth’s delight she can now drive, and we had a sneaky peak at Phil and Mary cuddling Oliver – Susan can’t wait to hold both Oliver and Amayah, but I’m not sure we can afford the price of the amount of baby cuddles (a new currency it seems; food, decorating and other services exchanged for baby cuddles) she has in mind!
Happy birthday to Phil and, of course, we are looking forward to seeing Shayla around her birthday, next month, when we will be back in the UK to see folks!
So the flights are all booked, the hire car booked, hotel rooms booked and an itinerary sort of worked out for our first month back..... in the meantime there is still a bit of work to do to get Andromeda ready to be left and also ready for our return in October when Sue and Paull will be flying back with us to holiday here in Trinidad – on reflection maybe the trip back will feel like a holiday for us!
More as and when..............
A reflection on some of the recent disclosures :- John Locke said: "As soon as men decide all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy."
The photo of us aboard Wings was taken when we went to watch the start of the Classic Races in Antigua and was published in the Caribbean Compass, a paper distributed throughout the Caribbean and even more fame for Andromeda as Yachting Monthly published our article about our dismasting.
Andrew and Susan
Andromeda of Plymouth
Crews Inn Marina
Trinidad and Tobago